Hello, Failure

Of all the enemies of literature, success is the most insidious

Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Failure of the Day: She

I am increasingly uncomfortable with my level of abject joy, and it seems like the best thing to do is to find something or other to fret about so I can feel at least a little bit normal.

So: my novel. My writers group was unanimous and emphatic last week: it works much, much better in 3rd person. I am painstakingly going through the sentences and changing the perspective and the tenses, all the while a tiny piece of talking cat shit sits on my right shoulder and whispers You're ruining it! I am working with a copy of the original, so just in case I am in fact ruining it, I won't have to go through and undo all my changes.

Here's the thing: although parts of it are awkward still and I've got pronoun woes out the kazoo, even I like it better in 3rd person so far. I don't know why, but it's got a sheen to it now, like it's on glossy paper. And although I thought at first it was very, very weird indeed to write an entire novel in the 3rd person, I am noticing more book that do it. The new Chuck book for example. (Now, the new Chuck is TERRIBLE, but not because of the perspective. The perspective works. It's his thick fist of repetition pounding the incredibly obvious message so far down your throat that you wonder how his knuckles can survive all that stomach acid that really kills the book.)

My writing group meets this afternoon; we'll see how the revisions fare.


Post a Comment

<< Home